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Dentistry/Shadow on X-ray


I had a root canal 2years ago and have a temporary crown on. I was waiting to have a bridge done once I saved money for it. I recently went to the dentist to start bridge but he noticed a shadow at base of tooth and referred me for a second opinion. What could cause this, and should I be worried?

Hi Donna,

It's hard for me to answer this question without being able to see your Xray, but when a dentist talks about a shadow at the end of the root, often that means the root canal is not healing. Since it has been 2 years since the root canal was done, you should have complete healing by now. It is a good idea to get this checked before you spend your money on a crown.

Until you get a good diagnosis, it's hard to say if you should be worried. Even if the root canal has not healed, there may be something that can be done to resolve it. You may need the root canal retreated or surgery on the end of the root. It could also be that your dentist is just being ultra conservative and wants to make sure all is well before placing the new crown...once again, it's hard for me to give you concrete advice.

Hope this helps some anyway...good luck!

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD


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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD


I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.


25 years practicing as a specialist

American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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